Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dusting off the Memories...

A long, long time ago, on a planet not very far away, people wrote letters. Letters, at that time, consisted of hand writing on paper, putting the paper into an envelope, licking a (yucky) stamp and sticking it on the envelope. Then you had to actually GO somewhere to place the envelope into a mail receptacle. There was no clicking of buttons or a 'brrrring' sound to indicate that I had mail.

I had friends who regularly did this for me, and I reciprocated. Oh the anticipation of going to mailbox each day to see if there was mail. Real, tangible mail. That's the mail you see above. I was cleaning out dusty boxes that have been moving with me from house to house to house. I came across a treasure trove of memories held within pages written 25+ years ago.

Letters from Carin while she was away at Study Abroad in Europe. Letters from John away at BYU and his mission in Sweden. Letters from Kevin while on his mission in England. Letters from Cindy while she served the Lord in El Salvador. There are letters from a guy I barely remember from my freshman year at BYU who served his mission in Argentina. Letters from Ivan, serving his mission. A letter from Kathy, saying she couldn't get off work at the bank to welcome Ben home from his mission in Sweden, and many letters from Ben. Kathy also mentioned a guy at her work who made her a mixed tape. We all know how that worked out. :) Letters from Elise that made me laugh til I cried. She was in Wisconsin serving her mission in the ice and snow. I was in Venezuela, burning up. Letters and postcards and a delightfully bittersweet trip down memory lane.

Inside this mouldering box were other treasures. Pictures and concert ticket stubs, a stained glass creation that John gave to me, five journals that I wrote from my early teens to my early marriage. There are flowers pressed between pages and old crepe paper saved from dances.

And then there is this....
I remember going to an Eagles concert with Carin and Kevin and....was Ben there? It was at the Kingdome. Remember the Kingdome? John couldn't go, and he wanted to know what songs they played. We grabbed a piece of discarded cardboard and wrote down each song so we could tell him.

I found pictures of my youth, when I was the age my girls are now. Pictures of my white 1969 Thunderbird, John's green machine and Carin's mom's yellow wagon. There are accounts of harrowing rides with Kevin, as driver. He scared us, and still we rode with him.

Walks around Greenlake in the dark, swimming out to the docks there, fully clothed. Swimming at John's house, Picking up Ben from the Drive-in where he worked. And oh, the teenage angst. I wrote about my dreams, my testimony and my fears. If I could only write a letter to me of yesterday...I'd tell her so many things. I'd tell her it all works out in the end. That I'd marry the sweetest, most kind man in the world and have four beautiful children with him. That Carin would indeed marry Sparky and have a passel of babies as well. And even though she turned traitor and moved to AZ, we are as close as we ever were, communicating nearly every day via the wonders of technology. Kevin married Debbie, John married Linda, and everyone else found love and happiness along the way. Most are grandparents now. GRANDPARENTS.

With the birth of my first grandchild coming in the next few weeks, I find myself thinking that I don't feel a bit different from that 17 year old girl rushing to the mail box every afternoon...or the 21 year old girl waiting for the mail bag to arrive in Caracas... I forget how old I am now. When people ask, I have to stop and think. It's just a number, and it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. I know I seem ancient to my children, because my parents seemed ancient to me when I was their age.

And the circle of life continues.

Thank you my friends. I love each and every one of you. My memories are warm and wonderful. My circle of friends were, and are, amazing people.